Teaching students with exceptionalities (teacher interview)

Teacher Interview

You are required to conduct a teacher interview. If you are placed in a school for another course or still have access to a school, you may select a teacher there.  If not, you can select a teacher you know in the community or otherwise.  It would be best if you select a general education teacher who has had or currently has some experience with inclusion.  

You will interview either a general or a special education teacher in your assigned school about how she/he works with parents to support student learning for students with disabilities.

General Assignment Description: Your interview should consist of 15 or more questions. In this assignment you should gain knowledge about working with students with disabilities, the Response-to-Intervention process, collaborating with parents and other professionals, and school-community events. If the teacher’s schedule requires that you conduct this interview in more than one session, please do so. 

What Questions Should be asked? You will be able to ask some questions that are of interest to you. In addition, however, below are questions that you are required to ask to meet your course requirements. For your own questions, you should develop the questions so that they require a thoughtful not just a factual response. For example, you might ask the teacher,  “What has been most surprising about working with parents of students with disabilities.  Questions such as, “How long have you been teaching?” are for your information only and could be included in the interview, but would not count towards your thoughtful questions. IF TEACHERS ARE GIVING VERY BRIEF RESPONSES (I.E., ONE SENTENCE), TRY TO GET THEM TO EXPAND THEIR RESPONSES. 

Submission of this Assignment

  • This assignment is to be submitted to Canvas.
  • The document should include each of the questions asked, followed by each of the teacher’s responses. If permitted by the teacher, you may want to record the responses to transcribe later.
  • The interview document MUST be double spaced and well written with proper grammar and punctuation, etc.
  • HAVE YOUR QUESTIONS PREPARED.  However, do not be afraid to ask additional questions if something comes up in your conversation. 
  • Use a pseudonym for the teacher.
  • DO NOT ASK ABOUT INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS, AT ALL!
  • At the beginning of the assignment, be sure to include the following teacher demographics (which could be in the form of a question):
  • What does the teacher teach? (grade, types of class [gen ed or sped], types of students in class)
  • How long as the teacher been teaching?
  • Put a cover sheet on the assignment prior to the submission.

Required Questions:

Here are the questions that you are required to ask. The questions are related to the following: (1) Meeting and collaborating with other professionals, (2) Working with parents, (3) School-community activities, and (4) Response to Intervention/Working with Students with Disabilities. REMEMBER, DO NOT ASK ABOUT INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS.

  1. Professional Meetings/Collaboration:
    1. Do you have meetings with other professionals such as other teachers (special or general educators), related professionals (e.g., speech therapists, counselors, etc.)? If so, can you describe to me about some of these meetings.
    2. Are there any other ways that you collaborate with other educational professionals (e.g., other teachers or related professionals)?
    3. Have you attended any IEP meetings or other meetings about students with disabilities? If so tell me about them. If not, what meetings do you think would be useful? (DO NOT TALK ABOUT SPECIFIC STUDENTS)
    4. What do you see as the value of any of the meetings discussed?
    5. What are any challenges that you have related to any of these meetings and what might you recommend to overcome these challenges?
  2. Working with Parents:
    1. Describe for me ways that you communicate and/or work with the parents of your students? Are some parents of students with disabilities? If so, are there any differences in communicating/working with them?
    2. What do you see as benefits of working closely with your students’ parents?
    3. What are any challenges that you have related to working with parents? What might you recommend to overcome these challenges?
  3. School/Community Events
    1. Have you been involved in any school/community events (such as PTA meetings, fund raisers, reading improvement events, charities)? If so, can you describe few?
    2. Could you describe some of the benefits of these meetings? Were there any specific benefits you observed for students with disabilities?
    3. Please describe some of the challenges of school/community events and what you might recommend to overcome these challenges?
  4. Response-to-Intervention/Working with Students with Disabilities
    1. Have you implemented Response-to-Intervention in your classroom? If so, tell me your process?  If they say “no,” ask them for any reasons why they have not, and ask them if they feel as though they have been trained well in it.
    2. Do you see benefits in using Response-to-Intervention.  If so, what are they?
    3. What do you see as challenges to using Response-to-Intervention and what might you recommend to overcome these challenges?
    4. If you have students with disabilities in your classroom, what instructional modifications or compensatory techniques have you used with them?

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